Through my doctoral and postdoctoral education I received training in the areas of developmental psychology, poverty, and public policy. My research has focused on 1. family-related factors, such as poverty and family structure, and their influence food insecurity and food assistance program participation and 2. how family-related factors and participation in public assistance programs influence child and adult health outcomes. As a NICHD K12 Scholar in the Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Program, I focused on the how individual-level contextual factors and policies predict gender differences in obesity. In the future, I plan on continue the above lines of research by including measures of the built environment, nutrition, and physical activity.
Recent Publications and Research Activity
Selected Funded Grants
Principal Investigator, “Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome among Low-income Hispanic Mothers and Their Children”. Funding Received from: CLASS Research Outreach Grant 2014. ($4,000), Department of Health and Human Performance Summer Research Program 2014. ($3,500), Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 2014 Summer Fellowship ($4,000).
Scholar, “Demographic and Socio-economic Determinants of Food Insecurity and Food Assistance Program Participation and Their Relation to Women’s Body Mass Index (BMI).” NIH/ORWH K12 Program in Building Interdisciplinary Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH). 2010-2012 ($200,000)
Principal Investigator, “Trends in Food Assistance Program Participation on Childhood Weight Trajectories.” United States Department of Agriculture Research Innovation and Development Grant in Economics (RIDGE) Grant, 2008-2009 ($35,000) with L. Francis.
Co-Investigator, “The Effect of Food Insecurity on the Physical, Cognitive, and Socio-emotional Development of Infants and Toddlers.” United States Department of Agriculture Research, Innovation, and Development Grant in Economics (RIDGE) Grant, 2007-2008 ($40,000) with A. Jacknowitz.
* indicates student co-author
Hernandez, D. C. & *Pressler, E. (2014). Accumulation of childhood poverty on young adult overweight or obese status: race/ethnicity and gender disparities. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 68, 478-484. DOI: 10.1136/jech-2013-203062. Published Online First: January 3, 2014.
Hernandez, D. C., *Pressler, E., Dorius, C., Mitchell, K. S. (2014). Does Family Instability Make Girls Fat? Gender Differences Between Instability and Weight. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76, 199-214.
Hernandez, D. C., Marshall, A., *Mineo, C. (2014). Maternal Depression Mediates the Association Between Intimate Partner Violence and Food Insecurity. Journal of Women’s Health, 23(1): 29-37. DOI:10.1089/jwh.2012.4224. Published Online First: October 16, 2013.
Hernandez, D. C. & Kimbro, R. T. (2013). The Association between Acculturation and Health Insurance Coverage for Immigrant Children from Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Regions of Origin. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health, 15, 453-461. DOI: 10.1007/s10903-012-9643-1
Hernandez, D. C. & *Pressler, E. (2013). Maternal Union Transitions and Household Food Insecurity: Differences by Race and Ethnicity. Journal of Family Issues, 34 (3), 373-393. DOI: 10.1177/0192513X12449134
Hernandez, D. C. (2012). Disadvantaged, Urban Fathers’ Health and Risky Health Behaviors: The Role of Relationship Status and Fathering Practices. Fathering, 10 (3), 239-256. DOI: 10.3149/fth.1003.239
Hernandez, D. C. (2012). Gestational weight gain as a predictor of longitudinal body mass index transitions among socio-economically disadvantaged women. Journal of Women’s Health, 21 (10), 1082-1090. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2011.2899
Hernandez, D. C., Francis, L. A., & *Doyle, E. A. (2011). National School Lunch Program and gender differences in low-income children’s BMI trajectories. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 165 (4), 346-353. DOI: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2010.253 (PMID: 21135318)
Ziol-Guest, K. M., & Hernandez, D. C. (2010). First and second trimester WIC participation is associated with low rates of breastfeeding and early introduction of cow’s milk during infancy. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110, 702-709. DOI: 10.1016/j.jada.2010.02.013
A.B. in Psychology; Certificate in Spanish at Princeton University, 1998
MSEd in Psychological Services at University of Pennsylvania, 2000
Ph.D. in Applied Developmental & Educational Psychology at Boston College, 2005
Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy at University of Michigan, 2005 - 2007